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Couple secure £100,000 funding from BCRS to make kennels business come true

17 February 2023
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A couple have realised their dream of owning a kennels business after securing £100,000 to fund the acquisition.

Carrena and Darron Burness bought Meadowcroft Kennels, in Stoney Bridge, Stourbridge, after receiving funding from West Midlands lender BCRS Business Loans via the Community Investment Enterprise Facility (CIEF) to carry out the purchase.

After buying the business, which provides accommodation for 65 dogs, in October the couple have begun the next phase of their growth plans, safeguarding seven jobs and creating four new roles in the process.

New services and offerings are being shaped as dog lovers Carrena and Darron set about realising their long-held ambition of running their own kennel business, living on-site with their two sons.

Having launched dog walking business Beacon Barkers in 2020, the family were keen to acquire Meadowcroft Kennels when it became available.

The pair contacted BCRS Business Loans, which guided them through the application process.

Darron said: “We could see the massive opportunity from purchasing the business as there is high demand for these services and a great catchment area for customers.

“We were novices at acquiring a business but the BCRS team offered us support and reassurance at every step of the way.

“The local community have been very supportive and bookings have been great so with our growing team we are looking forward to the future.”

Carrena said: “From a family point of view, by living and working on-site we have a great work-life balance. It has taught the boys to look to achieve something in their lives and what it means to own a business.

“They like to help out in the kennels and we all look at life differently. It has given us a sense of achievement that we could do something special if we set our minds to it.”

The family have now renamed Meadowcroft to Beacon Barkers Pet Centre, with a new website. The family are looking at future growth through offering additional services around pets and events. The new kennel owners are also creating opportunities for volunteering, work experience and youth training.

Angie Preece, Business Development Manager at BCRS Business Loans, supported the directors throughout the loan application process to help them buy the business.

Angie said: “It was great to see people with a huge amount of passion who wanted to succeed. As a co-operative Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) we are committed to supporting people like Carrena and Darron to further the growth and prosperity of as many businesses we can across the West Midlands region.

“They had the business background and personal circumstances which enabled us to proceed as we knew this funding would support further success.

“We believe viable businesses should be supported, so we were pleased to help Carrena and Darron make their dreams come true.”

Delivered on a local level by BCRS Business Loans, CIEF is managed by Social Investment Scotland. Alastair Davis, chief executive at Social Investment Scotland, said:

“This loan to Carrena and Darron is a great example of where CDFIs like BCRS make a real difference, and why the Community Investment Enterprise Facility has been set up. I wish the new team at Beacon Barkers Pet Centre every success for the future and we look forward to seeing the impact that they make.”

Businesses in the West Midlands region that are struggling to access finance from traditional lenders can secure loans from £10,000 to £150,000 from BCRS Business Loans to support growth and recovery plans. BCRS is a delivery partner for the latest phase of the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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